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Convicted felons lose the right to purchase or possess a firearm

On Behalf of | May 29, 2023 | Gun Crimes

Being convicted of a felony can rob you of many rights, even your constitutional rights. For example, while the Second Amendment secures the right to own a firearm, a convicted felon in possession of a firearm can expect to face serious criminal penalties if caught.

State law

In Indiana, you cannot purchase or possess a firearm after having been convicted of a “serious violent felony” or if you have a domestic battery conviction on your criminal record. These restrictions apply even after you have served your sentence for the crime.

A serious violent felony under Indiana law includes a variety of crimes. Some of these crimes include:

  • Homicide
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Reckless homicide not involving the use of a vehicle
  • Aggravated battery, domestic battery or battery, and
  • Robbery, burglary and carjacking

This is only a partial list of serious violent felonies under Indiana law. Even seemingly minor felonies such as resisting a police officer are considered serious violent felonies.

If you meet the above criteria, and you purchase or possess a firearm, it is a Level 4 felony. The penalties for this violation of the law include a prison sentence of 2 to 12 years and/or a $10,000 fine.

Federal law

In addition, if you have been convicted of a felony under federal law, you might be prohibited from possessing a firearm.

To be convicted as a felon in possession of a firearm, you must knowingly possess the firearm. Even constructive possession counts as knowing possession. In addition, you must have a felony conviction on your criminal record and the firearm must have traveled in or affected interstate commerce.

While unfair, these limits stand

It may seem unfair that you cannot possess a firearm after having served your sentence for a felony crime. After all, why should the consequences for a criminal conviction extend beyond the successful completion of your criminal sentence?

As unjust as it may seem, the law is that most felons cannot purchase or possess firearms. If you are suspected of being a felon in possession of a firearm, know that you could face a return to prison and hefty fines if you are ultimately convicted.